POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - This weekend, robots built by 16 high school teams from Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and Montana competed in the inaugural Idaho Invitational Robotics Competition at the Mountain View Event Center.
The two-day event was the first official in-person competition in the state after two years of cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"My freshman year was the last time I got to go to a competition, and I'm a senior now," said Highland High School Senior Drake Johnson. "This is really big, because it's filling in for the two years of competition I missed out on."
The For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Robotics Competition (FIRST) combines the excitement of sports with the rigors of science and technology.
"It lets me explore different STEM activities and topics like programming, engineering, physical design and materials," Johnson said.
This year's competition is INFINITE RECHARGE FIRST RISE, powered by Star Wars: Force for Change. Two alliances work to protect FIRST City from approaching asteroids caused by a distant space skirmish.
Each alliance, along with their trusty droids, race to collect and score Power Cells in order to energize their shield generator for maximum protection.
To activate sections of the shield generator, droids manipulate their control panels after scoring a specific number of power cells. Near the end of the match, droids race to their rendezvous point to get their shield generator operational in order to protect the city.
To view a demonstration of the competition, visit here.